On Dec 13, 43 days after I started the mad-dash that is NaNoWriMo, and 71,587 words later, I finished the first draft of my very first novel, now titled The Myth of Romantic Comedies.

Woohoo to me!

I am still in shock over the experience. I was “in the zone” that last day; I wrote 4539 words on Dec 13 alone! I was writing as fast as I could and then, suddenly, the ending line I had had in mind since the second week of November was written. I was done. I teared up a little.

I never thought I could write a novel. I always said I wanted to do so, but never thought I could. And now I’ve done it. And I cannot wait to write the next one, even with the crazy schedule I know awaits me next year with Nursing school. Because writing is something I have to do. I stopped doing it for years and I was miserable. And now, whatever else happens in my life, I have writing back in it and I won’t let it go.

But let me tell you, it was exhausting. Partly because 50,000 words of it were written during the month of November for NaNoWriMo (which means a daily goal of 2000 words, which I kept to religiously); partly because I have now set my writing time at 5 AM-ish, which means I get up really early, forsaking sleep; but also, and perhaps most importantly, because in my head I have just lived the lives of these characters as much as they did.

I wrote in First Person point of view, and that took a toll on me. Much like I do when I roleplay, I got into character, and I smiled when he was happy, scowled when he was angry, and hurt when he was hurting. Plus I did so as well for all the other characters who did not have a direct voice to the reader except through the narrator, because I knew what was going on with them (for the most part—characters don’t always tell you everything) and felt that as well. It’s almost a method acting form of writing.

As I look at the file, page through its electronic pages, I am in awe of all those words that came from me, all putting together one story. I can’t wait to share it with people.

So this week I have taken it off, letting Me (Daniel) come back to the forefront and recover from that emotional rollercoaster. I’ve also been working on getting my wife’s first novel ready for publication. But I so look forward to going back to do the rewrites.

So yeah, I just wrote a novel. May it be only the first.

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